Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems

Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems

by Robert Bly

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Overview

Robert Bly has had many roles in his illustrious career. He is a chronicler and mentor of young poets, many of whom he presented in his series of edited booksThe Fifties, The Sixties, and The Seventies. He was a leader of the antiwar movement, founded the mens movement virtually by himself, and published the bestseller Iron John. All through these activities, he has continued to deepen his own poetry, a vigorous voice in a period of more academic wordsmiths. Now, in Eating the Honey of Words, he presents the best poems he has written in the last ten years, as well as some favorites from his earlier books such as Silence in the Snowy Fields, The Man in the Black Coat Turns, and Loving a Woman in Two Worlds. Joining these timeless classics are marvelous new poems from the last two years.

This book is a chance to reread, in a fresh setting, many of Blys most famous early poems, and in some instances to see how the old poems have changed over the years. In this new selection, which includes a number of poems from past decades never published before, one can see more clearly than ever the powerful undercurrents that carry this poetry from one book on to the next.

It is a brilliant collection that confirms Robert Bly's role as one of Americas preeminent poets writing today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060930691
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/16/2000
Series: Harper Perennial Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 776,282
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Robert Bly's books of poetry include The Night Abraham Called to the Stars and My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy. His awards include the National Book Award for poetry and two Guggenheims. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Read an Excerpt

Eating the Honey of Words
New and Selected Poems

My Wife's Painting

I

I walk on a gravel path through cut-over
Woods. November's bare light has arrived.
I come at dusk
Where, sheltered by poplars, a low pond lies.
The sun abandons the sky, speaking through cold
leaves.

2

This Tang painting is called The Six Philosophers.
Five Chinamen talk in the open-walled house,
Exchanging poems. Only one is outdoors, looking over
The cliff, being approached from below by rolling
mists.

3

A deer comes down the bare slope toward me,
Sees me, turns away, back up the hill
Into the lone trees.
It is a doe out in the cold and air alone.
It is the woman turned away from the philosopher's
house.

4

It's an old, long story. After Heraclitus dies,
The males sink down to a-pathy,
To not-suffering.
When you shout at them, they don't reply.
They turn their face toward the crib wall, and die.

5

My wife showed me yesterday her new
Painting. One bird of hers, a lively one,
Had come.
It was a large bird with big feet,
And stubby wings, arrows lightly stuck in the arms.

Eating the Honey of Words
New and Selected Poems
. Copyright © by Robert Bly. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

I: Early Poems (1950--55)
Seasons in the North Woods
3(1)
A Home in Dark Grass
4(1)
Living in the Fire
5(1)
When the Dumb Speak
6(1)
Where We Must Look for Help
7(1)
A Dispute
8(1)
Awakening
9(1)
Unrest
10(1)
Three Choral Stanzas
11(1)
A Poem for the Drunkard President
12(3)
II: Silence in the Snowy Fields (1958--78)
Waiting for Night to Come
15(1)
Night
16(1)
Snowfall in the Afternoon
17(1)
A Private Fall
18(1)
Late at Night During a Visit of Friends
19(1)
Old Boards
20(1)
Solitude Late at Night in the Woods
21(1)
Surprised by Evening
22(1)
Three Kinds of Pleasures
23(1)
The Call Away
24(1)
After Drinking All Night with a Friend, We Go Out in a Boat at Dawn to See Who Can Write the Best Poem
25(1)
Poem in Three Parts
26(1)
Watering the Horse
26(1)
Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter
27(1)
Waking from Sleep
27(1)
Driving Toward the Lac Qui Parle River
28(1)
Love Poem
29(1)
"Taking the Hands"
29(1)
First Snowfall
29(1)
After Working
30(1)
A Man Writes to a Part of Himself
31(1)
Depression
32(1)
The Mansion
33(1)
After Long Busyness
34(1)
The Moon
34(1)
Thinking of Tu Fu's Poem
35(1)
After Spending a Week Alone
36(1)
Winter Privacy Poems at the Shack
37(2)
Moses's Basket
39(1)
Passing an Orchard by Train
40(4)
III: The Light Around the Body (1957--70)
Confusions
44(2)
Winter Afternoon in Greenwich Village
46(1)
Calling to the Badger
47(1)
Sleet Storm on the Merritt parkway
48(1)
Melancholia
49(1)
Three Presidents
50(2)
The Executive's Death
52(1)
Smothered by the World
53(1)
Come with Me
54(1)
A Pint of Whisky and Five Cigars
55(1)
Those Being Eaten by America
56(1)
Written in Dejection Near Rome
57(1)
Max Ernst and the Tortoise's Beak
58(1)
Evolution from the Fish
59(1)
Looking into a Face
60(1)
A Month of Happiness
60(1)
The Celtic Church
61(1)
Opening an Oyster on Rue Jacob
62(1)
Romans Angry About the Inner World
63(1)
As the Asian War Begins
64(1)
Counting Small-Boned Bodies
65(1)
Hatred of Men with Black Hair
66(1)
Johnson's Cabinet Watched by Ants
67(1)
After the Industrial Revolution, All Things Happen at Once
68(1)
Hurrying Away From the Earth
69(4)
IV: The Teeth Mother Naked at Last (1970--72)
The Teeth Mother Naked at Last
73(12)
V: The Point Reyes Poems (1965--84)
November Day at McClure's Beach
85(1)
The Starfish
86(2)
Driving West in 1970
88(1)
Welcoming a Child in the Limantour Dunes
89(1)
Climbing up Mount Vision with My Little Boy
90(1)
Calm Morning at Drake's Bay
91(1)
Trespassing on the Pierce Ranch
92(1)
The Dead Seal
93(2)
An Octopus
95(1)
The Hockey Poem
96(4)
Two Sounds When We Sit by the Ocean
100(1)
Sitting on Some Rocks in Shaw Cove
101(1)
Looking at a Dead Wren in My Hand
102(1)
A Hollow Tree
102(1)
August Rain
103(1)
Warning to the Reader
104(1)
The Mushroom
105(1)
A Chunk of Amethyst
106(3)
VI: Loving a Woman in Two Worlds (1973--81)
The Third Body
109(1)
The Horses at the Tank
110(1)
The Whole Moisty Night
110(1)
One Morning
111(1)
Winter Poem
112(1)
At Midocean
113(1)
Listening to the Koln Concert
114(1)
Love Poem in Twos and Threes
115(1)
Poem on Sleep
116(1)
The Horse of Desire
117(2)
Conversation with a Holy Woman Not Seen for Many Years
119(1)
Two Middle-Aged Lovers
119(1)
In Rainy September
120(1)
The Indigo Bunting
121(1)
In the Time of Peony Blossoming
122(1)
The Moose
123(1)
The Ram
123(1)
The Eagle
124(1)
The Heron Drinking
124(1)
In the Month of May
125(1)
A Dream of an Afternoon with a Woman I Did Not Know
126(1)
Love Poem About a Spinning Wheel
127(1)
The Storm
128(1)
A Man and a Woman and a Blackbird
129(2)
The Ant on the Board
131(1)
A Love That I Have in Secret
132(1)
The Red Sea
133(1)
Come Live with Me
133(1)
An Evening When the Full Moon Rose as the Sun Set
134(3)
VII: This Body Is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (1973--80)
Walking Swiftly
137(1)
Blessing on the Body's Inner Furnace
138(1)
Wings Folding Up
139(1)
Going Out to Check the Ewes
140(1)
Four Adventures of the Soul
141(1)
We Love This Body
142(1)
Finding the Father
143(1)
The Cry Going Out Over Pastures
144(1)
The Owlets at Nightfall
145(1)
The Lover's Body as a Community of Protozoa
146(2)
The Orchard Keeper
148(1)
Blessings on the Dweller
149(4)
VIII: The Man in the Black Coat Turns (1980--84)
Snowbanks North of the House
153(1)
The Sense of Decline
154(1)
Night Frogs
155(1)
My Wife's Painting
156(2)
Visiting Emily Dickinson's Grave with Robert Francis
158(2)
Mourning Pablo Neruda
160(3)
Fifty Men Sitting Together
163(3)
The Visit to Hawaii
166(4)
The Winemaker and the Captain
170(2)
The Prodigal Son
172(1)
Eleven O'Clock at Night
173(2)
Kennedy's Inauguration
175(3)
An Anecdote About My Father
178(1)
Kneeling Down to Look into a Culvert
179(1)
Words Rising
180(5)
IX: Meditations on the Insatiable Soul (1990--94)
Time Runs Backward After Death
185(1)
Visiting My Father
186(12)
In the Funeral Home
198(3)
A Week After Your Death
201(1)
St. George and the Dragon
202(2)
When William Stafford Died
204(1)
Gratitude to Old Teachers
205(1)
The Dark Egg
206(1)
Drinking the Water
207(1)
Thoughts in the Cabin
208(3)
X: Morning Poems (1993--97)
Why We Don't Die
211(1)
Early Morning in Your Room
212(1)
Calling Your Father
213(1)
The Shocks We Put Our Pitchforks Into
214(1)
Conversation with the Soul
215(1)
The Yellow Dot
216(1)
Three-Day Fall Rain
217(1)
What Jesus Said
218(1)
When Threshing Time Ends
219(1)
Tasting Heaven
220(1)
Wallace Stevens and Florence
221(1)
The Waltz
222(1)
Looking at the Stars
223(1)
Waking on the Farm
224(1)
What the Animals Paid
225(1)
For Ruth
226(1)
The Man Who Didn't Know What Was His
227(1)
Thinking About Old Jobs
228(1)
Conversation with a Monster
229(1)
The Resemblance Between Your Life and a Dog
230(1)
It Is So Easy to Give In
231(1)
The Green Cookstove
232(1)
The Russian
233(1)
The Face in the Toyota
234(1)
Two Ways to Write Poems
235(1)
One Source of Bad Information
236(1)
My Doubts on Going to Visit a New Friend
237(1)
Visiting Sand Island
238(1)
A Week of Poems at Bennington
239(5)
All These Stories
244(1)
Things to Think
245(1)
The Glimpse of Something in the Oven
246(1)
It's As If Someone Else Is with Me
247(2)
When My Dead Father Called
249(1)
Words the Dreamer Spoke to My Father in Maine
250(1)
Looking at Aging Faces
251(2)
At Christmas Poem
253(1)
People Like Us
254(1)
The Neurons Who Watch Birds
255(1)
Bad People
256(1)
Wanting More Applause at a Conference
257(1)
A Conversation with a Mouse
258(3)
XI: New Poems (1997--98)
Poem for Eudalia
261(1)
Going Home with the World
262(1)
An Afternoon in June
263(1)
A Poem Beginning with a Line by Seal Scholars
264(1)
The Dog That Pursues Us
265(1)
The Day We Visited New Orleans
266(1)
A Dog, a Policeman, and the Spanish Poetry Reading
267(2)
Thinking of Gitanjali
269(1)
The Donkey's Ear
270

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